By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 1-14-16

The National Association of Broadcasters told the FCC this week that to grant the pay-TV industry what it wants in the ongoing retransmission consent good faith negotiations proceeding would make it an unwitting accomplice in that industry’s attempt to grab more revenue. One of the things the FCC can’t compel is online play, NAB said.

Various pay-TV operators want the FCC to require outside arbitration of retrans impasses, make blackouts de facto bad faith negotiating, and wouldn’t mind the FCC scrapping the syndicated exclusivity and network nonduplication rules that backstop contractual exclusivity.

They have also suggested the FCC should prevent broadcasters from withholding content online during impasses, but NAB says it would be unlawful for the FCC “to require broadcasters to make their content available online.”

“Federal copyright law gives broadcasters the right to control whether, how and when their content is distributed,” NAB said. “Nothing supports the view that the FCC can supersede copyright law to require broadcasters to publicly perform their copyrighted material online.”  » Read More